Healthcare is a human right.
We need to move towards a healthcare system that offers universal coverage for all individuals for their lifetime, provides comprehensive benefits, and does not have out-of-pocket costs. This healthcare should provide a full range of benefits, covering all medically necessary services, and give patients free choice of their doctor and hospital. Our current system forces patients and physicians to navigate a complex system of restrictive networks that are competing for business and creating billions of dollars in overhead and administrative costs. These principals could save billions in administrative waste that could instead go towards providing actual services and medications to people who need them.
As we transition towards a system based on these principles, here are a few key elements that we can change immediately:
Address health insurance company greed.
All patients deserve access to healthcare facilities and doctors of their choice. We need to ensure that non-profit hospitals accept all types of insurance. Our current system creates massively inflated bills when patients are “out of network” and then pits physicians against their patients in these billing disputes. We need to take action at the state level to end this, and ensure that health insurance companies pay all providers at a fair rate.
Reduce the costs of prescription drugs.
We need to remove the middlemen of pharmacy benefit managers who operate with a lack of transparency and oversight of the contracts they offer to pharmacies. These contracts restrict information about cheaper drugs and allow the middlemen to profit at the expense of patients. The state can also do more to negotiate drug prices and use bulk purchasing of drugs to lower costs to patients.
Protect women’s and maternal healthcare
As a mother, I trust women to make their own decisions about when and how many children to have. I support ensuring access to the full range of reproductive healthcare options, expanding Medicaid coverage to postpartum women, and connecting people who can have children to evidence-based home visiting programs to support postpartum health of infants and their caregivers.
Address the opioid epidemic
I support increasing access to naloxone, making it affordable and available to the public. I also support rapid access to evidence-based therapy and addressing the social determinants of health that are contributing to the opioid crisis and drug addiction.